How to remove ink or blue jean dye from leather or vinyl?

Ink, marker and dye from denim, blue jeans or other textiles can back-stain vinyl or leather.

Cleaning with a solvent like denatured alcohol or lacquer thinner is necessary to pre-treat the ink or dye. Such cleaning seldom removes the stain but will prevent the ink or dye from bleeding through a new finish. Rub ‘n Restore® water-based finishes will conceal any lingering stains and will not peel or flake.

To prevent denim and blue jeans from bleeding and back-staining your upholstery again, the dye must ‘fixed’ or set.

Fill a sink or bucket with enough cold water to submerge the jeans. Add 1 cup white vinegar. Submerge the jeans and let soak overnight. Do not rinse. Air dry.

Commercial fixatives made by Retayne®, iDye® or Rit® can also be used.

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  1. I have the same issue, I applied the bright white color I purchased from your company, I clean the sofa real well before I applied the bright white but did not cover too well.
    I was wondering if I should prime it first? do you carry any primer?

    • Bright white gets poorer coverage than darker mineral pigments. A primer won’t help. Just be sure to pre-treat the ink as discussed above, and then dab the color (rather than wiping or stroking back and forth) to get better coverage on the stain in fewer coats, and then blend outwards.


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